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VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

swb Re:Slight OT: USB-bootable virtualbox? (228 comments)

But I want to run multiple Windows systems on a USB stick. I wouldn't bother with virtual box if that was the case.

The idea was to be able to boot a full Windows environment off a USB stick by using virtualbox as basically a shim to work around Windows inability to boot off USB.

5 hours ago
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Wi-Fi Issues Continue For OS X Users Despite Updates

swb Re:"Wi-Fi" is fundamentally broken, period. (86 comments)

I would add:

9. Entities like cities rolling out "city-wide" Wi-Fi and filling the available spectrum with background noise which reduces performance of local Wi-Fi.

10. Organizations that treat Wi-Fi spectrum as something they "own" within a multi-tenant building and making attempts to kill off uses they don't control or profit from.

7 hours ago
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VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

swb Re:Slight OT: USB-bootable virtualbox? (228 comments)

Yeah, no shit Sherlock, which is why I tried to install it under and Ubuntu as the host OS installed to a USB stick.

7 hours ago
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VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

swb Slight OT: USB-bootable virtualbox? (228 comments)

Is it possible to create a USB stick bootable virtualbox with persistent storage on the USB device?

Performance of USB3 sticks is more than adequate and this might be a way to create a way to create a single stick that could run multiple operating systems from bootup without needing any host storage.

I made a go at rolling my own with Ubuntu, but because I trying to do it with an older version of VMware workstation running under Windows it seemed to hose up on the USB stick installation.

I tried finding a canned image for dumping onto a USB stick, but couldn't find one.

There might be too many gotchas in terms of hardware drivers for the host Linux environment, but it seemed like a sweet solution if would work.

9 hours ago
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The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

swb Re:Blame politics (433 comments)

A lot of science involves highly technical information. A bit of nutrition science about weight loss might actually involve biochemistry that is complex to understand for biochemists, let alone someone not holding an advanced degree in biochemistry.

The "general public" can't possibly be expected to actually understand or evaluate the study's findings or methodology let alone the implications of the findings, which may actually raise more questions than they answer, especially if they contradict or raise questions about previous findings. There's a reason it's called "peer review" -- because it takes people with equivalent knowledge and skills to actually validate the findings, otherwise the guy that writes movie reviews could review them.

And it's not like scientists themselves aren't above wrong interpretations or exaggerating even legitimate findings or pushing the science to find results to advance their own agendas. Read Gary Taubes' "Science" article about the research associated with dietary salt to get an idea (http://garytaubes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/science-political-science-of-salt.pdf).

yesterday
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Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

swb Re:Probably won't happen soon (363 comments)

I know you said fuck Mythbusters, but didn't they do a bit on watering a safe and trying to shock wave it open? I seem to remember it not working that well.

yesterday
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Amazon Takes On Microsoft, Google With WorkMail For Businesses

swb Re:Privacy (62 comments)

I had nobody to exchange encrypted email with, so I no longer have it installed.

This is the biggest problem. I have two friends, both technology savvy (one works in IT, in healthcare, so is very familiar with encryption) and both are conspiracy savvy, too.

I got both of them using PGP at one point, fully integrated with whatever email client they were using but couldn't get either one to sustain use of it, despite both of them fully aware of the NSA, surveillance, etc.

Maybe they just don't like me, but if getting these two to use encryption on a consistent basis is hard, getting ordinary people to do it is impossible.

2 days ago
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Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

swb Re:No. (227 comments)

I didn't and never have advocated muzzling anti-Semites.

Further, anti-Semitism is rooted in the belief of false conspiracies about Jews. Charlie Hebdo's satire and lampooning of Muslim fundamentalists is rooted in actually fulfilled conspiracies to kill civilians by Islamic fundamentalists.

2 days ago
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Book Review: Designing and Building a Security Operations Center

swb Re:Step One: Build a separate silo (29 comments)

Step 1.5: Show still images from the CTU on 24 as an example of "doing it right".

Everybody knows you're serious if you have giant, wall-mount displays showing your threat statistics, a world map showing the ISS positional telemetry and a half-dozen cable news channels.

Bonus points if you include several giant red buttons throughout the room with clear plastic safety covers over them with red sirens mounted over them. People will be reassured knowing you can hit the big red button when you need to.

2 days ago
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Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

swb Re:No. (227 comments)

If Charlie Hebdo had ridiculed Jews by drawing cartoons about the Holocaust, they likely would have been arrested instead of lionized. But, in France, Muslims are fair game.

That's a false equivalence. The Jews were *victims* of the Holocaust, not the perpetrators. Islamic fundamentalists are the *perpetrators* of terrorist violence. You entirely miss the point if you reduce Charlie Hebdo to just some guys making fun of brown people.

You're absolutely right about the outrageous hypocrisy of Saudi Arabia. Not only are they a repressive, theocratic regime, it might be argued that unfettered export of Saudi Wahhabism contributed greatly to the existing problems with Islamic extremism.

2 days ago
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Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

swb Re:Simple (227 comments)

Taking a bribe is consider corruption in our culture. In another it may be considered payment for expedited services.

Except that bribes are almost never for "expedited" services, they are given to gatekeepers who won't provide the service they're supposed to provide without them. Can you give me one concrete example of an official who accepts bribes for better service but will still perform the service in a reasonable time without them? Or isn't using some kind of negative outcome (often criminal charges) for not paying the bribe?

Even in a commercial realm where differentiated services are the norm, the differential service price is usually known and advertised and the owner will generally get pissed if their employees are giving stuff away for side payments. You can't buy a coach ticket and then slip $100 to the flight attendant and get seated in first class.

In America we Tip our servers, the size of our tips are based on what we figure was the quality of the service.

Bring that one up at your next meal out and see how many people disagree. A lot of people don't view it that way and instead think of tips as a fixed percentage service charge or have some sympathy for minimum wage servers and tip the same regardless or don't think one person should be punished for service elements outside their control (food was cold, bad quality, server was tied up with a huge table, etc).

2 days ago
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Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

swb Re:It is hard to know what to think (519 comments)

It feels strange that Apple is making such a profit with a rather smallish that may be 12% of the market and no particularly eye-popping new products since the Steve Jobs era, just a series of well-engineered refinements.

I think you underestimate the "eye-popping" value of the 6 Plus screen size among consumers. I've owned every new iPhone since the 3GS and despite waiting a couple of months after the release date, still had a backorder time of 6 weeks when I ordered a 6 Plus. That hasn't happened for any other model.

It may not have been an eye-popping change in absolute technology terms or geek credibility, but what would be and would consumers care? There's too many constraints on size and battery life for more much more than incrementalism.

Plus I think all smartphone vendors want to maintain the current niche paradigm for these devices -- the consumer understands the "role" of the smartphone in their larger electronics ecosystem.

I think it will take someone willing to gamble on the idea of a dockable phone that can be used with KVM as a PC and/or tetherable to a "screen only" tablet to really shift the paradigm a lot. Apple could do it since they control the whole ecosystem but likely want to protect their product segments from sales loss, x86 is too power hungry and Windows failed on RISC and with Metro.

Google seems likely since they aren't specifically tied to given CPU and so much of Chrome is web-focused. Maybe Project Ara is sort of the start of this to sort out the modularity aspect so that you can assemble an Android/Chome system from parts or dock components with other components.

2 days ago
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White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

swb Re:How about a shotgun? (235 comments)

Buckshot is most often #00 which is the size of a .38 caliber bullet. That would definitely hurt if dropped from 50 feet or higher.

#9 is .080 in diameter. It'd like being hit was a handful of sand.

3 days ago
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White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

swb This incident seems fishy (235 comments)

The NY Times' article on this said a "government employee" (no name, no affiliation) had come forward to claim the drone and said he was flying it recreationally and that the Secret Service had interviewed him and said that all evidence indicated this was the case.

This seems odd -- who flies a drone recreationally in the vicinity of the White House at 3:30 AM? Or anywhere in DC for that matter. And a government employee? If you were a government employee, wouldn't you generally choose to avoid flying your drone around ten zillion government buildings

Why was he identified as a "government employee"? How likely is that the Secret Service is going to just accept a "oops, my bad" explanation?

Something about this seems off.

3 days ago
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White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

swb How about a shotgun? (235 comments)

A shotgun firing light shot (like #9, commonly used for skeet) can powder a clay target but quickly loses energy.

Where I used to shoot clay targets they had a duck tower, basically a target thrower mounted on tower of 25' or so. You'd shoot the targets from various stations around the tower. The idea was to simulate shooting flying ducks, so everyone shoots up at a steep angle.

Back out front of the clubhouse you would occasionally hear pellets hitting the metal roof of the building and once in a while feel one hit you. It felt like someone had tossed a small pebble in the air, almost not noticeable. The max shot they allowed was #7.5 target loads which is what we used on games with the most distant targets like the duck tower. #9 was better for skeet because of the short ranges and larger shot pattern.

I know people who have been hunting pheasant (relatively more powerful loads, like #4 shot) and been downrange of other hunters and hit by shot loads fired into the air. I forget what the distances where, but they described it as feeling like a light rain.

3 days ago
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DEA Cameras Tracking Hundreds of Millions of Car Journeys Across the US

swb Re:Cam-tastic (152 comments)

Do you think some kind of IR strobe would work? Strobing fast enough to keep the auto-contrast/brightness from being able to keep up?

I also wonder if you couldn't borrow some of the technology from those laser light shows where they can "draw" on the side of a large object. I wonder if its possible to adapt the scanner technology to basically "paint" an object behind you with IR illumination

The only thing I would worry about is if any/many squads have IR cameras linked to displays visible within the squad car. The guy whose car is lit up in IR like Las Vegas is gonna get pulled over and harassed no matter what, and unless your build is so clean it can't be detected and can be easily and transparently disabled, they will drum up some kind of "defeating law enforcement technology" charge against you.

3 days ago
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Getting Charged Up Over Chargers at CES (Video)

swb Re:You know... (33 comments)

Thanks for the info. I've suspected this before when I've tried to use a USB A-A extension cable but get annoyingly slow charge times. I figured the length of the cable increased resistance but didn't know they made them with bigger wires.

3 days ago
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Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

swb Re:We don't all live in the USA. (336 comments)

I think the problem is you can't pack up a whole economy and move it.

If your wealth is dependent on the US domestic economy and it tanks because of civil unrest, a lot of wealthy people will be unwealthy before they can even reconsider relocating.

There's also the question of "what is money?" and are you really rich still if you have to convert your money to another currency with a different local buying power, especially if your native currency dives or is sinking when you try to convert it.

There's also the question of competition for safe overseas havens; if the availability is limited, you're now competing with just the rich, so unless you're elite rich, you may lose out altogether.

And what kind of haven are you expecting? A self-sustaining kind of pre-20th century British estate of farms and light industry? At the end of the day it sounds like a mash-up of a Ralph Lauren ad with survivalism.

3 days ago
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Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

swb Re:There's a whole industry based around Elite Pan (336 comments)

I seem to remember reading something about the risks of the low profile merely wealthy, people who aren't famous or especially politically connected and whose wealth is never-work-again kinds of money but not Glided Age, family dynasty wealth and isn't tied to control of a specific corporation or revenue-generating entity.

Apparently they are targeted at many levels because they have limited options for their liquid assets. They're at risk from being ripped off by their investments, at risk from embezzlement, targeting by the IRS for tax problems, even possibly targeted by crooked cops and politicians.

When I'm fantasizing about winning the hundreds of millions lottery, I sometimes wonder how someone like me with little understanding of "real" money would structure the money so that it would be harder to get ripped off. Like hiring multiple investment advisors for chunks of money, hiring auditors to check up on the investment advisors and various lawyers kept independent from each other, all of it designed to be a series of checks and balances.

After a while, I can see where the paranoia comes from. It's kind of like being a dictator who has several security services he uses to spy on the others, hoping that it breeds enough insecurity to keep them all more or less honest.

3 days ago
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Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

swb I wonder if they're still updated (308 comments)

I wonder if any of these plans are still being updated, even if it's only by some guy in a basement office someplace.

Obviously China is still of interest, but most of them are extremely unlikely, although you wonder if there are times where it gets thought about. France after the attempt on De Gaulle or the possibility of a left-wing revolution in 1968, maybe even about Marine LePen. Mexico might warrant some kind of what-ifs around a failed state status. Germany and Japan are occupied by US forces now, but maybe there's some political theorizing about a populist/nativist Japanese party gaining power. Germany seems like the worst candidate, with the only situations I can imagine revolving around a collapse of the Euro and some kind of German administration of European economies, which seems unlikely.

4 days ago

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